Close

Specialist in Asia Pacific, Japan, China, India and South East Asia and Global Emerging Market equities.

Discover more
Close

Specialists in equity portfolios in Asia Pacific, emerging markets, global and sustainable investment strategies

Discover more

Responsible Investment Reports and Policies

Industry collaboration

Stewardship

Given the changes to the UK Stewardship Code that came into force in 2020, we made a decision to develop a standalone report focused exclusively on stewardship to complement this report. This was also a driver for us to develop a new Global Responsible Investment and Stewardship Principles and Policy framework, which builds on and improves our previous suite of RI policies in one consolidated document.

The framework articulates our approach to and beliefs around RI and what it means to us, and includes a set of guiding principles for investment team members as well as specific requirements in relation to ESG integration, corporate engagement, proxy voting and investment screens.

 

 

 

Throughout 2020, our equities teams voted on 62,143 resolutions.

Policy and wider industry engagement

In our 2019 report, we flagged the unprecedented growth in regulation of the RI-related activities of the investment industry. We have actively participated in a number of consultations and initiatives that we believe support the transition to a more sustainable financial system. Below we detail some of the key initiatives we have participated in during the past year.

EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation

What is it?

The EU’s Regulation on sustainability-related  disclosures in the financial services sector (SFDR) sets out a series of organisational and product level disclosures which must be made by asset managers in their financial product documentation and on their website. It forms part of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan, a broader package of measures relating to ESG issues. The implementation date of the SFDR is 10 March 2021.

What are we doing?

We support efforts to empower end-investors to make informed decisions on where to allocate their saving, pensions and other investments based on increased transparency from asset managers.

We also support the underlying policy objectives of the SFDR (and wider EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan) in meeting the Paris Climate Agreement objectives, contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and providing high quality information for investors to prevent “greenwashing”. In August 2020 we responded to the SFDR Consultation Paper and have been closely monitoring and engaging with EU policy makers and industry trade groups on developments in this area.

In June 2020, First Sentier Investors created a formal SFDR project steering group which comprises senior representatives from our RI, legal, compliance, product, marketing, sales and distribution teams. The steering group has been working to implement the SFDR requirements to ensure we are fully compliant with the relevant requirements by the implementation date.

 

In June 2020, First Sentier Investors created a formal SFDR project steering group which comprises senior representatives from our RI, legal, compliance, product, marketing, sales and distribution teams.

Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative

What is it?

The Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI) was formed in March 2019 as an industry-led body. Over a period of 18 months, ASFI developed a roadmap to align the finance sector to support greater social, environmental and economic outcomes for the country. The roadmap sets out a suite of 37 recommendations categorised under the following four areas:

  1. Embedding sustainability into leadership
  2. Integrating sustainability into practice.
  3. Enabling resilience for all Australians
  4. Building sustainable finance markets

It also includes an Action Plan and suggested timeframes for implementation of each of the recommendations.1

What are we doing?

First Sentier Investors was pleased to be represented by two employees on two technical working groups. As a business more broadly we engaged with ASFI throughout the process, including inviting the Co-Chairs to engage with us at an RI Steering Group meeting and through presentations to the Australia Management Team. We were proud to support these recommendations when they were released, and look forward to continuing to work closely with ASFI throughout the implementation phase, beginning in 2021.

1. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c982bfaa5682794a1f08aa3/t/5fcdb74ee43f2b00a8c74ec9/1607317331508/ Australian+Sustainable+Finance+Roadmap+%E2%80%93+Executive+Summary.pdf

Monetary Authority of Singapore Guidelines on Environmental Risk Management

What is it?

In June 2020 the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) proposed a set of guidelines on environmental risk management for fund management companies and real estate investment trust managers. In the consultation paper, the MAS highlighted the need for the financial sector to take action to address environmental risks and support the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy. The guidelines are intended as a call to action to this sector and highlight expectations that financial institutions will enhance the integration of environmental risk considerations as part of their investment process.

What are we doing?

In July 2020 we provided feedback on the consultation paper. The finalised guidelines were released in December 2020. We are currently in the process of adopting the guidelines and look forward to engaging with the MAS further on this topic in due course.

Industry collaboration

We support a number of industry and trade groups that are focused on developing and improving RI. While these groups do not speak for us unless we specifically sign a statement they draft, we are aligned with their broader missions.

Each year, we review the various initiatives that we have been involved with. We do this to ensure their purpose aligns with our clients’ interests and that we have the capacity to make a meaningful contribution. The initiatives that we actively support and engage with are listed here:

Global initiatives

PRI

  • Signatory

Cambridge University Investment Leaders Group

  • Founder member
  • Chair of Working Group

 

EMEA

UK Sustainable Investment Forum

  • Board Member

EUROSIF

  • President

Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales (ICAEW)

  • Member of the Corporate Governance Committee
  • Member of Sustainability Committee

Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability (A4S)

  • Expert panel member

UK Investment Association

  • Member of Sustainability & Responsible Investment Committee
  • Chair of Standards & Definitions Working Group

London Stock Exchange Group

  • Member of Sustainable Investment Committee
  • Member ESG Advisory Committee

Asia Pacific

Financial Services Council

  • Director of the FSC Board
  • Member of the Fund Management Board Committee
  • Member of the Investment Expert Group
  • Member of the ESG Working Group

Investor Group on Climate Change

  • Member

Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative

  • Member of Coordinating Working Group
  • Member of Technical Working Group

Responsible Investment Association Australasia

  • Board Member
  • Member of the Human Rights Working Group

30% Club Australia

  • Investor Working Group member

40:40 Vision

  • Steering Group member
  • Investor Working Group member 

Women in Sustainable Finance

  • Committee member

Investors Against Slavery & Trafficking APAC

  • Chair

Our Responsible Investment & Stewardship reports since 2007

Responsible investment annual reports

2019 - RI & Stewardship Report

2018 - RI & Stewardship Report

2017 -  RI & Stewardship Report

2016  -  RI & Stewardship Report

2015  -  RI & Stewardship Report

2013  -  RI & Stewardship Report

2012  -  RI & Stewardship Report

2011  -  RI & Stewardship Report

2010  -  RI & Stewardship Report

2009  -  RI & Stewardship Report

2008  -  RI & Stewardship Report

2007  -  RI & Stewardship Report

These documents contain information which is no longer up to date. As such, it is maintained on the website solely for informational purposes to provide historical information. The document should not be relied upon, including for the purposes of an investment decision. We recommend you seek professional investment advice before making a decision to invest.

Responsible investment reports

Read our latest annual Responsible Investment Report

Download full report

Read our recent Navigating investment in a post-COVID world report

Read each chapter online 
Download full report